Tuesday, June 28, 2011

UAE security court sentences 6 in plot to smuggle pistols to Yemen rebels

By Associated Press, June 28,

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Court officials in Abu Dhabi say six men have been sentenced to jail terms for trying to smuggle 16,000 pistols to violence-wracked Yemen.

The verdicts come three months after Dubai authorities uncovered the weapons in shipping containers from Turkey and allegedly bound for rebels in northern Yemen. Meanwhile, Yemen’s president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, has faced a growing uprising seeking to end his nearly 33-year rule.

The officials say Tuesday that the State Security Court gave five-year prison terms to five men: two from Oman and three Egyptians. A cargo clearance officer received a three-year sentence.

The Abu Dhabi-based newspaper The National reports five other defendants were acquitted in the Monday court session.

Kidnapped French aid workers 'located' and 'alive': Yemen

(AFP) June 28, 2011

SANAA — Three French aid workers kidnapped in southeastern Yemen a month ago have been "located" and are "alive," the deputy information minister told reporters on Tuesday.

"Security services have managed to locate the French. They are alive," Abdo al-Janadi said.

Yemeni authorities "cannot provide any information on the kidnappers or their demands to ensure the safety of the investigation and to secure their release as soon as possible," he added.

The three -- two women and a man -- were kidnapped in the Hadramawt town of Seyun, 600 kilometres (370 miles) east of Sanaa on May 28.

The trio are part of the French non-governmental organisation Triangle Generation Humanitaire, and were working with a group of 17 Yemenis in Seyun.

"They were kidnapped because they had written a letter to Yemeni security services asking not to be accompanied by anyone for protection," said Janadi, who added that their demand was accepted.

A Yemeni security official had said their car was found on the road some 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Shibam, a city known as the "Manhattan of the Desert" because of its spectacular high-rise mud-brick buildings.

Foreigners have frequently been kidnapped in Yemen by tribes who use the tactic to pressure the authorities into making concessions.

More than 200 foreigners have been kidnapped in Yemen over the past 15 years, with almost all of them later freed unharmed.

Yemeni president to address on TV soon: official

SANAA, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in Saudi Arabia for treatment of injuries from an attack on his palace earlier this month, will address the nation on television within days, an official said Tuesday.

"The president is in good health and he will deliver a speech to the nation soon and come back to Yemen within the next few days, " the Deputy Information Minister Abdu al-Janadi briefed a press conference Tuesday.

Al-Janadi did not provide specific dates for Saleh's speech or return. "We cannot set specific date neither for the president's speech nor for his return," he said.

However, Saleh's information advisor Ahmed al-Sufi reaffirmed to Xinhua on Tuesday that "Saleh's address on TV in 48 hours, which was announced on Sunday, has not been changed."

Saleh was wounded in a bomb attack on his presidential palace in Sanaa on June 3. He has not been seen in the public since then, as opposition leaders believe that Saleh has been unable to speak or died.

The 69-old-year president has faced five-month-long protests across the country, demanding him to step down and leave the country along with his sons and aides.